GCSE Business Studies

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1 GCSE Business Studies Unit 2: Investigating small business Controlled Assessment 25% of final grade Name Teacher Page 1 of 15

2 GCSE BUSINESS STUDIES UNIT 2: Investigating small business CONTROLLED ASSESSMENT TASKS Choose one of the following tasks. Task 1 (1.1) To what extent is the business you have chosen more successful in adding value than a competitor? You could: Choose a small business Use primary and/or secondary research to identify the sources of added value convenience and speed, branding, quality, design and unique selling point (USP) for this business Compare the sources this business uses to add value with those used by a competitor Present useful information/data to support the points you are making Analyse the different sources this business uses to add value Using your analysis, arrive at a supported conclusion that indicates the extent to which this business is more successful at adding value than a competitor. Task 4 (1.4) Which is the most important method used by your chosen business to deliver high levels of customer satisfaction? Choose a small business Use primary and/or secondary research, investigate how the business delivers customer satisfaction Present useful information/data to support the points you are making Analyse the different methods of delivering customer satisfaction that are important for this business Using your analysis, arrive at a supported judgement that states the most important method the business uses to deliver high levels of customer satisfaction. Page 2 of 15

3 Format for the assessment For the controlled assessment, you must: Choose a local small business Choose a title for your project from a choice of five Organise and carry out research into your chosen business Present the results of your findings Analyse the information you have gathered Evaluate the task by answering the question in your title Keep a log of all the activities/tasks you have completed during the assessment The assessment will include: a) Six hours of research both in and out of school b) Three hours for the write-up, completed under examination conditions in a computer room The assessment criteria are as follows: Page 3 of 15

4 Page 4 of 15

5 Research: Introduction to the project Complete the details about your chosen business in the table below: Name of my chosen SMALL business Address and details about the location Business ownership Name of the owner(s) Full details of what my chosen business sells Details about the size of my chosen business (number of customers; number of employees; catchment area it sells to) Types of people who are customers Details about the firm s competitors Any other relevant information Page 5 of 15

6 Research: Details of other information I will collect Title I have chosen: Types of information I will collect Tick if you are going to use this method Details of what information I will need to collect Photographs Other images (e.g. from internet) Interview with the owner(s) Interview with customers Observation Business website Other e.g. examples of methods of advertising Page 6 of 15

7 Research: Data gathering other information about the business You will also have to find out more detailed information about the products that the business sells and the range of services it offers its customers. This could be done through observation. The information you gather will be used along with the results of your interviews with the owner(s)/customers. Design a data gathering sheet to record this information. The list below shows the types of information you could find out. You need to select the types of information you need in order to answer the title of your project. Then you need to design a suitable data-gathering sheet to record the information. Opening hours Details about prices charged to customers Details about the range of products or services sold Methods of advertising used Types of promotions offered to customers Details about how customers get to the shop (car; walk etc) Availability of car parking facilities Disabled access/facilities Details about the range of services provided for customers Details about the quality of products or services offered to customers Any other relevant information that will help you answer the title of your project NB. Obviously, the above are only examples, as it will depend upon the title and small business you choose. Page 7 of 15

8 Research: 1. Data gathering interview with owner/s 2. Data gathering customer survey EXAMPLE QUESTION: What is the most important factor in generating repeat purchase in the small business you have chosen? 1. You must design a questionnaire and use it to find out from the owner(s): Why they think customers return to the shop and buy again? What services the owner(s) provides which customers like so they come back and buy again? Other strategies the owner(s) use to ensure customers return to the shop and repeat purchase? Which of all of the above do they think is the most important factor in generating repeat purchases 2. You must also design a questionnaire and use it to find out from some of the customers: Why they return to the shop and buy again What services the customer likes so they come back and buy again Which of the above do they think is the most important factor that results in them returning to the shop and buying again Possible strategies that the owner(s) may use: Opening hours Pricing strategy Advertising and/or promotions Website Friendliness of staff Customer services e.g. after sales service, returns, car parking, changing rooms, home delivery, etc Quality of products Availability and range of products Other strategies? e.g. Convenience to home, speed of service Page 8 of 15

9 Research: Data gathering interviews Possible designs you could use for the questionnaire Remember you need to ask for judgements to be made (i.e. you must ask them to give you their opinion) 1. What are your opening hours? 2. On a rating of 1-5, how important do you think your opening hours are for generating repeat purchases (please tick)? Does not affect repeat Affects repeat purchases purchases very much to a large extent Please give details of your opening hours: 2. Do you think your opening hours affects the number of repeat purchases you get (please tick)? I think it affects the number of repeat purchases to a large extent I think it has quite an effect on repeat purchases I do not think it affects the number of repeat purchases 1. On the table below, for each statement, please insert a number to indicate how much the statement affects the number of repeat purchases you get. Key This factor has a big impact on the number of repeat purchases 1 This factor has a fairly big impact on the number of repeat purchases 2 This factor does not affect the number of repeat purchases 3 Long opening hours Cheap prices Good range of products Good quality products Other: Please specify: Please insert 1, 2 or 3 in this column Last question: What improvements could you introduce to increase the number of repeat purchases? Page 9 of 15

10 Ideas for the customer survey: 1. Why do you regularly use XYZ for your (shopping)? Long opening hours Cheap prices Good range of products Good quality products Other: Please specify: 2. Which of the above factors are the main reasons why you use the business. Please rank them in order, with your most important reason at the top What types of customer service does the business provide which you like? Are there any other reasons why you use the shop regularly? Last question: What improvements could the business introduce to increase the number of repeat purchases? Page 10 of 15

11 Presenting the Information You must use a range of presentation techniques that are relevant to the assessment title. You score more marks for: selecting an appropriate method of presentation paying attention to detail when presenting the information writing about the information you have inserted into your project Examples of ways you can present information Text Table of information Graph Photographs Images You will also need to: a) Insert suitable titles where appropriate: Graph to show... Source the data you present Source: Customer Survey b) Use footnotes if appropriate Flames Candle Shop has an annual turnover of 250,000 1 Footnote (in the footer): 1 Source: Owner s Profit and Loss Account c) Have an appendix and refer to the information in the appendix in the report Appendix 1 Appendix 2 Etc Page 11 of 15

12 Presenting and Analysing the Information All graphs, tables of information, images etc, must be written about in your project. You must use the information you present. Using a Graph You might decide to insert a graph which shows why customers use your chosen business. You must create the graph and insert a suitable title. You must choose a type of graph which will show the information easily which is best Pie chart or bar graph? 2D or 3D graph? You must then write about what the graph is showing and analyse your findings: Graph to show why customers use XYZ Takeaway Long opening hours Quality of food Speed of service Cheap prices Friendly staff Source: Customer Survey Convenient to home In my survey, I asked customers the main reasons why they regularly used XYZ Takeaway. The graph above shows that the most popular reason was convenience to where the customer lived. The speed of service when serving the takeaway meals and the quality of the food also ranked highly. This indicates that customers think speed of service and convenience to their home is a more important factor when repeat purchasing compared to the quality of the food and the cost. Page 12 of 15

13 Presenting and Analysing the Information Using Images and Photographs You might decide to insert an image showing the convenience of the car parking facilities and then discuss how this affects repeat purchases: Source: The image above shows XYZ sweet shop and its nearby car parking facilities. As you can see from the picture, although the car park is not owned by the shop, it is very close to the shop s location and customers can use this area to park their car. This increases the chances of repeat purchases as the shop may attract car drivers that regularly pass-by. This was confirmed in my customer survey by two respondents who always stop by in the morning to buy a newspaper and a snack for their lunch. Analysing the Information You will need to explain and discuss all the factors that generate repeat purchases in the business you have chosen. Explain the factor Explain how it encourages repeat purchases and how this helps the business You will also need to summarise the results from your survey What did the owner/s think were the most important factors that generated repeat purchases? What did the customers think were the most important factors that generated repeat purchases? Did you notice any other factors during your research (from your own observations, etc)? Page 13 of 15

14 Analysing the Information An Example One important factor identified by 80% of the customers at XYZ Takeaway is the quality of food they serve. These customers tend to use the takeaway late at night, on their way home from a night out with their friends. Because they like the food, they often call by XYZ s. They could eat at a number of other takeaways locally such as Wong s Chinese restaurant or Fred s Fish & Chips (see Appendix 1 for map showing the location of these outlets) but XYZ benefit from repeat purchases because their customers like the quality of food they serve. I did notice that car parking was quite convenient outside the takeaway. Although this was not identified as an important factor by the owner, 10 out of 12 customers I interviewed certainly liked the availability of parking right outside the outlet. If parking was difficult, customers may choose XYZ once but would not necessarily repeat purchase if they thought parking was going to be a problem customers would be more likely to find a more convenient store that met all their needs. Do note that quality of written communication (QWC) will be a factor in determining which level can be awarded to you for your analysis. Evaluation What does this mean? What do I have to do? You should aim to look at all of the information you ve presented, summarise the two sides of the argument and conclude by making relevant value judgements backed up with sound business concepts and detailed supporting evidence. You could even include detailed suggestions for improvements. Your judgement must be fully justified. Do note that quality of written communication (QWC) will be a factor in determining which level can be awarded to you for your evaluation Evaluation an example A successful plumbing business is all about customer service. Do you agree with this statement? Justify your answer. Indicative content Both sides to the argument need to be explored No: Customer service is never free it may increase costs. Price may be more important than good service to some people. How often is a plumber needed? Is it a one-off service to customers or is there repeat business? Other factors in the business may be as important, such as controlling cash flow. Page 14 of 15

15 Yes: Good customer service means customers are more likely to use again this generates additional business. Good customer service may mean value for money. Good customer service increases customer loyalty and increases the likelihood of repeat purchase. Less selling involved which can be time consuming and increases costs. Word of mouth selling/recommendations a much cheaper way of advertising the business to generate more sales. Information to customers known price improves customer confidence and trust. Complaints sorted immediately customers feel confident in using her service and then come back again increases likelihood of future sales. Mark scheme A choice will be made with poorly developed justification and supported by limited examples. For example, Yes, because good service brings in customers. Even better if A choice will be made with some developed justification and supported by some good examples. At the bottom end of the range the answer will be unbalanced with one side only given any attention. For example, Yes. Good services ensure that customers will return to use the services of a business. Loyal customers not only bring repeat business but give recommendations. Poor customer service can damage reputation. At the top end of the range there will be some balance given. Even better if A choice will be made with a clearly developed justification and supported by excellent examples. There will be balance to the answer and a conclusion will be given. For example, On the one hand good customer service may not be absolutely essential. For example, in the case of a plumber, the service may not be needed that often and many single jobs are done for different people. Also, providing good service may come at the cost of higher prices and customers may look for cheaper alternatives. However, poor service is likely to damage the reputation of a business. Word of mouth may spread information that a poor service is provided and this may reduce the number of people asking for work to be done. In plumbing, which is a technical service, this could be vital. So overall, a successful plumbing business is all about customer service. It doesn t matter what judgement you arrive at in your conclusion, providing that it is made using sound business concepts and detailed supporting evidence. You could have completely different conclusion, but still achieve the highest level of evaluation. GOOD LUCK! Page 15 of 15

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